Pollard helps Leicester see off Premiership leaders Saracens
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Leicester Tigers secured a hard-fought 24-18 victory over league leaders Saracens at Welford Road in Round 17 of the Premiership
Mike Brown ran in a debut try for the Tigers, while Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard scored 14 of his team’s points.
Pollard scored a try, three conversions and one penalty.
The hosts started quickly, with Jasper Wiese’s slaloming run bringing Tigers within touching distance of the whitewash and Pollard finishing in the next phase.
A second try for the champions came in the 12th minute, this time Brown’s linebreak setting up Cameron Henderson to crash over.
Pollard slotted his second conversion of the day to make it 14-0.
Alex Goode, on his 350th Saracens appearance, kicked a three-pointer to reduce arrears but 37-year-old Brown crossed in the corner following a flowing move to bag a try on his debut.
A monster penalty from Pollard from just over halfway made it 27-3 but Eroni Mawi would have the final say of the half, going over from close range and with Goode’s conversion the scoreline read 27-10.
Goode’s second penalty of the afternoon brought the gap down to 11 points after the interval, and then Alex Lewington intercepted a stray pass to run clear of Pollard for his fourth try of the season.
The visitors were pushing hard for their third in the remaining 30 minutes, but the Tigers defence held firm to record their first win in four Premiership matches.
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: Pollard, Henderson, Brown
Cons: Pollard 3
Tries: Mawi, Lewington
Pens: Goode 2
Leicester: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton. 13 Matt Scott, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Harry Potter, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Cameron Henderson, 4 George Martin, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Julián Montoya (c), 1 Tom West
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Sam Edwards, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Harry Simmons
Saracens: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Rotimi Segun, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Alex Goode (c), 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Andy Christie, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Tom Ellis, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Kapeli Pifeleti, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Cameron Boon, 20 Toby Knight, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Olly Hartley, 23 Ben Harris
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson, Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Rose